These inaugural awards recognise the insurance brands displaying the best innovations in their field.Read more…
Health insurance statistics
Is health insurance worth the expense?
The perks of private health insurance include having a wide choice of treatments, bypassing waiting times and having a more comfortable hospital experience.
We found that, despite the benefits of health insurance, only a small proportion of UK citizens are covered. We’ve looked into how health insurance costs have increased over time, how they fare compared to the most popular insurances and why health insurance might be worth looking further into.
The average spend on insurance premiums in 2019 by type
Most people will own more than one type of insurance, with the majority of the 1,046 respondents here reporting to have at least car, home or contents insurance.
|Type of insurance||Percentage|
|None of the above||13%|
Private health insurance is the fifth-most owned type of insurance, with 13% of respondents saying they have it. Car insurance is the most popular insurance type due to it being mandatory for the vast majority of all drivers, while private health insurance is costly and often covers treatments that are also provided for free by the NHS.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) of health insurance over time
CPI is a statistical estimate based on the weighted average of a group of items in a certain market. CPI essentially indicates how much something costs compared to other products or services. Over a 11 year period from 2008 to 2019, the CPI for health insurance has shown steady but consistent growth, to peak at 121 in 2019.
The increased CPI indicates that health insurance has steadily increased in price over the last 11 years. The average year-on-year increase in price for health insurance over this 10 year period is 6% per year.
The expense and waiting times for common medical treatments
We’ve ranked six medical treatments based on the cost of the treatment and the average waiting time for the treatment on the NHS. Both knee surgery and hip replacement surgery are good examples of when a person would save both time and money by being covered by private health insurance.
|Treatment||Cost of private treatment||Average wait time on NHS|
|Knee replacement||£11,814||13.5 weeks|
|Hip replacement||£10,776||13.5 weeks|
|Cataract surgery||£2,410||12.4 weeks|
|MRI scan||£1,298||2.6 weeks|
|Skin lesion removal||£940||6.5 weeks|
|CT scan||£870||2.2 weeks|
With private health insurance costing just over a tenth of the cost of the two replacement surgeries (£1,435 a year), which also demand that you wait around 13 weeks for the treatment under the NHS, you can see how health insurance can appear to be the more desirable option. The scans, on the other hand, cost a similar amount to an annual health insurance payment and require only a 2-week wait under the NHS.
The NHS at a glance
- The budget for the Department of Health and Social Care back in 2020 was £139.3 billion, £5.4 billion more than it was in 2019.
- In 2019, the NHS employed more than 1.2 million people in the UK.
- At the time, the average staff member working full time earned a basic salary of £32,000.
- Before the pandemic hit, there were over 24,000 calls to 999 in August 2019.
How prepared for Coronavirus was the NHS?
Although there are a wide range of variables that need to be taken into account, such as each country’s lockdown precautions and the number of tests carried out, this graph does appear to show how there was once a broad correlation between medical resources available and fatality rate regarding how each countries healthcare system handled the pandemic when it first hit back in 2020.
|Doctors (per 1000)||Nurses (per 1000)||Hospital Beds (per 100,000)||Mortality Rate rate (%)|
How much does NHS staff earn on average?
Of those working full time for the NHS, the mean basic pay is just under £32,000. This does, however, vary depending on the role and the experience you have. The best-paid role at the NHS is as a hospital practitioner/clinical assistant, which pays on average £113,000 per year.
|Role||Basic salary (£)|
|Hospital Practitioner / Clinical Assistant||£113,765|
|Other and Local HCHS Doctor Grades||£83,442|
|Professionally qualified clinical staff||£39,348|
|Scientific, therapeutic & technical staff||£36,000|
|Nurses & health visitors||£32,385|
|All staf average||£31,866|
|Foundation Doctor Year 2||£31,097|
|NHS infrastructure support||£29,739|
|Foundation Doctor Year 1||£27,028|
|Support to ST&T staff||£20,762|
|Support to ambulance staff||£20,416|
|Support to clinical staff||£19,934|
|Support to doctors, nurses & midwives||£19,714|
|Hotel, property & estates||£19,143|
|Other staff or those with an unknown classification||£19,089|
A&E waiting times
There were 2.13 million attendances to A&E in August 2019. This is 6.4% more than there were in August 2018. The number of visits to A&E in the last 12 months was 3.9% higher than it was in the 12 months prior. While the vast majority of patients (86.3%) were seen in 4 hours or less, this is still far below the target rate of 95%, which was last met in July 2015. Over 260,000 patients waited longer than 4 hours, while 372 patients waited more than 12 hours to be seen.
The cost of an ambulance
There were over 24,000 calls to 999 in August 2019, 13,000 of which resulted in a patient being transported to an emergency department. In August 2019, the average response time to the most critical cases (known as C1) was 7 minutes and 5 seconds, just above the target time of 7 minutes. The next most severe incidents (C2) had an average response time of 21 minutes and 13 seconds in August 2019, longer than the 18-minute standard.
- In 2019/2020, there were 14 NHS ambulance bodies in the UK – 11 in England and 1 in each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- NHS ambulance trusts in England spent £92 million on private ambulances in 2018/2019, £2 million more than in the previous year.
- Air ambulances in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are all provided by charities.
- Scotland has one charity air ambulance to work alongside four NHS-funded air ambulances.
Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:
Read our comprehensive guide on shareholder protection cover, including how it works, pros and cons for taking out a policy and how to set cover up correctly.Read more…
Use our online calculator to find out how much life insurance you need based on your own personal circumstances.Read more…
Find out what life insurance for business owners is, the different policies on offer and what is included in each.Read more…
Find out how life insurance works and what policy is right for you.Read more…
Find out what key person insurance is, what it includes and whether your business can benefit from it.Read more…
More guides on Finder
Optical and glasses insurance
Find out if optical insurance is right for you and how it could save you money.
International health insurance
If you’ll be working and living abroad, read our guide to find out whether international health insurance will cover all your medical needs.
Family health insurance
Read our guide to help you decide if you and your loved ones could benefit from family health insurance.
How much does health insurance cost?
Compare quotes and find out what you should be paying for private health insurance.
Calories and alcohol
We list popular drinks – 7 spirits and 12 brands of beer – to find out which have the fewest calories, for the most alcohol.
Ask an Expert